More than €300m from the sale of the Government’s stake in Aer Lingus will be used to fund infrastructure schemes, Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe has confirmed.
Mr Donohoe said the Coalition would “lend out” €335m to boost transport connections within Ireland.
“In relation to the funding that the State will receive through disposing of our share, under the rules that we’re all now part of by being members of the eurozone we have to use that funding in particular ways.
“And the Government will be using that funding to lend out to infrastructural projects all over the country to try and improve the access that our country has within the country and also to improve access into the country for people who want to invest here and for people who want to travel,” Mr Donohoe said.
Following controversy over the Government’s decision to dispose of its 25.1% stake in the airline, buyers IAG now have enough support from other share-holders to proceed with the acquisition.
“Today does mark a very important day in the acquisition of Aer Lingus by AIG because the AIG group have now acquired enough consent from enough shareholders to allow them go ahead with the full acquisition.
“This I believe is going to give Aer Lingus the platform they need to offer more services in the future and carry more passengers,” Mr Donohoe said.
The minister also warned the tourism industry that the Government could not allow a “rip-off Ireland” image to take hold. “We can’t get back to any perception of rip-off Ireland.”
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